Austria has unveiled a series of anti-vaccination measures and the Netherlands is reopening the country, becoming the first Western EU to reverse the ban since the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine, while European countries are rushing into a deadly epidemic. .
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said in a statement that Friday the federal government would demand that the entire country be closed to those who had not been detained, so that they could work from Monday.
These measures are needed to protect the rights of those who have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus, Schallenberg told reporters earlier. “I don’t see why two-thirds of them have to lose their rights because a third of them are procrastinating,” he said.
More than 33 percent of Austrians do not have the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine – one of the lowest prices in the EU – demonstrations on public health.
In the Netherlands, non-essential shops, entertainment venues including bars and restaurants, and intimate services such as hairdressers will be forced to close 6pm from Saturday, essential stores like supermarkets close at 8pm.
Other options include telephone messaging in all areas if possible, a maximum of four guests per home, no spectacle of sports events and a 1.5m long remodeling in public places.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the ban “difficult” at a press conference Friday evening. “We have some sad news tonight. Fortunately, most people in our country are now vaccinated. Otherwise the suffering in hospitals would be innumerable. But health problems are still very high, ”he said.
Health officials in the Netherlands filed 16,287 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday – 44 less than the previous day, when the risk was the highest since the epidemic began.
Austria this week recorded the highest number of people infected with the virus, with seven days of 9,593 cases reaching Thursday. The previous rise, about a year ago, was 7,464.
Austrian governors meet with government officials on Sunday to discuss the proposed closure.
Despite Schallenberg’s call, international cooperation is not clear. Upper Austria and Salzburg say they have followed strict procedures regardless of what was decided on Sunday, but some government officials have been similar. Any new solutions can address legal challenges.
Vaccinated people already banned from Austrian restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
Officials in the chancellery say what could happen could show complex closure restrictions in Austria in autumn and spring last year. If so, smokers may be able to leave their homes only once a day for “essential” reasons, such as buying food.
Police have been dispatched to monitor the area’s population for a vaccine, the interior ministry said. Criminals have to pay a lot of fines.
Germany on Friday added Austria to its list of high-risk countries, Health Minister Jens Spahn said. Under this category, anyone entering Germany from Austria who has not been infected or recovered from the virus should be kept alone for 10 days.
Friday’s announcement prompted the two countries to come quickly. Herbert Kickl, the leader of Austria’s right-wing party – which won a quarter of the vote in the 2019 general election – criticized the government for “corona fascism” and said “all forms of resistance… Are needed now”.
In the Netherlands, protesters threw stones and fire extinguishers outside the Rutte press conference in The Hague, police dispersing troops and water cannons.
Some EU countries also want to tighten the coronavirus system. Officials in Germany offered strong measures as the seven-day increase – reaching 263 people per 100,000 – peaked on the fifth day in a row.
Spahn requested that the opportunity to participate in public events be limited to those who had been vaccinated or recovered and that all should be tested before entering. The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s chief medical officer, requested that the numbers allowed at major events be removed, and that bars and clubs be closed.
In Latvia, starting on Monday, lawmakers and all city councils will be able to work and get paid only if they are caught or cured of Covid-19. The Baltic states had the highest number of people worldwide infected with coronavirus last month.
Additional reports of Erika Solomon in Berlin by Richard Milne, Nordic and Baltic Reporter